October 01, 2014, BY Kathryn Kopchik

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Poet Kendel HippolyteKendel Hippolyte is the 2014-15 Sandra & Gary Sojka Visiting Poet at Bucknell University.

As visiting poet, Hippolyte will read from his poetry Tuesday, Oct. 7, at 7 p.m. in the Stadler Center for Poetry, Bucknell Hall. A reception and book-signing will follow.

At noon that same day, he will participate in a conversation and Q&A with Stadler Center Director Shara McCallum, with time allotted for audience questions. Both events are free and open to the public.

Born in St. Lucia in 1952, Hippolyte studied and lived in Jamaica in the 1970s, where he explored his talents as a poet, playwright, and director. His poetry ranges across the continuum of language from Standard English to the varieties of Caribbean English. He also has written poems in Kweyol, his national language.

He has published six books of poetry, the latest being Fault Lines (Peepal Tree Press, 2012). He has edited Confluence: Nine St. Lucian Poets, So Much Poetry in We People, an anthology of performance poetry from the Eastern Caribbean, and This Poem-Worthy Place, an anthology of poems from Bermuda.

He was a lecturer in literature and drama in Sir Arthur Lewis Community College until 2007. The recipient of many honors and awards, he has taught and performed in the Caribbean, United States and Europe.

Hippolyte also has established himself as an innovative playwright and director, authoring eight plays, and directing scores of others, including his own The Drum-Maker (1976), The Song of One (1995) and Triptych (2000), all of which have been published in drama anthologies. In 1984, he co-founded the Lighthouse Theatre Company in St. Lucia, and has long been involved in all aspects of the dramatic arts on the island. He has toured with theatre productions in the Caribbean and the United Kingdom.

In 2000, Hippolyte was awarded the St. Lucia Medal of Merit (Gold) for Contribution to the Arts. Recently retired from teaching, his present focus is to use his skills as a writer and dramatist to raise public awareness and contribute to active solutions of critical social issues.

The Sandra and Gary Sojka Visiting Poet Series was established in 1995 through the generosity of Gary Sojka, who served as president of Bucknell University from 1985-95, and his wife, Sandra.

These and all Stadler Center Writers Series events are free and open to the public. For more information on the series and programs of the Stadler Center for Poetry, visit www.bucknell.edu/stadlercenter, email stadlercenter@bucknell.edu  or call 570-577-1853.